July 27, 2016 - South India
Since more than two months I live in Auroville, a spiritual community in South India. Over 2.200 people from almost 50 nations live here.
The Matrimandir, located in the center, is the soul of Auroville. This place has been very precious for me, a place for silence, consciousness and concentration.
Most of the time I made use of this opportunity to train my ability for concentration and consciousness. I don't want to go deeper into this subject here. You will find more information under www.auroville.org. I lived in the Green Belt (a forest area) at Ambre's place Nilatangam in a simple cabin.
With an outdoor shower and a compost toilet. Nilatangam has two more guesthouses and a Capsule (bamboo/ palms).
Drinking water has to be taken from the water treatment service. This is normal for many people in India.
A big problem in India is that the farmers don't have to pay their electricity and keep on running their pumps to water the fields. So the ground water level sinks more and more and the wells have no water. Many people cannot afford to dig their wells deeper. They have no water. The water has to be picked up from public water sources or is delivered in tank lorries.
Nilatangam is very much designed in tune with nature, with many trees, bushes and plants. There are peacocks, chipmunks, scorpions, snakes, bats etc. While being at Nilatangam, many fruits ripened such as Yak, Chicku and bael fruit, papaya and mangoes. On the farms or on the street you can always buy bananas, passion fruit and soursop freshly harvested.
Over the time a little community built among the people at Nilatangam. We enjoyed this a lot.
Life in Auroville is western orientated. I loved the Bakery (a German Bakery) where bred is available I know from Mam/ Grandma. The restaurants offer international food. A nice change for my stomach and me, after a long period of only Indian food, and it did both of us good. In Auroville I visited many of the communities and learned a lot about them (more information on the internet). I made contact with many nice and friendly people.
Among them was a group of bikers with whom I made a longer tour early in the morning. Auroville has a real good bike store and shop (Aurovelo) with a good service and products on western level. Here they put on new spokes on my back wheel. The day before I wanted to leave Auroville I had a kidney colic during the night. I had no other choice but to go to an Indian hospital. At the initial reception they helped me with a pain reliever. However this first had to be purchased in the hospital pharmacy. Then they did x-ray and ultrasound diagnostics which all had to be paid in advance. Towards the morning a person took me to a patients room, a hall with 50 beds. There are tenders whose job however is only to care for medical supply.
The family has to take care of the sick person. They sleep on the floor or on wooden plank beds close to the patient. As many families can't afford the hospital food they bring it from home.
Using the bed is not very expensive and the treatment for Indians is free. They only have to pay the medicine. In the beginning I didn't feel so well with these many people in a hall. Later I got used to it. It had an interesting experience in these three days. I stayed in Auroville for a few days to recover. When I felt better I said good-bye to my new friends at Nilatangam and the next day I was on the road again. The first days were quite exhausting. There was headwind during the whole day and the road was constantly going a bit upwards. This challenged my power which was not fully there yet. The fantastic landscape and the heaven-like silence compensate for it.
Mountains, rice fields in deep green color and palm plantations. How wonderful to be on the road again! My permanent companions now are wild monkeys, and they are allover. I was invited for a tea and left my bicycle outside, fully packed. When I came out again the monkeys were just checking the content of one of my bags. They had opened the sipper and uneatable things were spread on the floor. Deeper in the mountains live wild elephants. When I was saying that I sleep outside from time to time when I don't find a lodge people warned me of wild tigers in the wilderness of the remote mountains.